— FSU leads 23-6 at halftime, scoring the final 23 points of the half. The Seminoles are 6-1 on the season when leading through two quarters.
— Quarterback James Blackman led two touchdown drives of 75+ yards in the opening half. On the season, FSU has 15 scoring drives of 75 or more yards (14 touchdowns, one field goal). It is the third game that FSU has done so twice in one half (second half against Miami and Clemson).
— FSU has forced at least one turnover in eight of 13 games this season.
— After allowing 63 yards and a touchdown on the first drive of the game, FSU’s defense allowed 86 on the Golden Eagles’ next four drives combined, resulting in three punts, a lost fumble and a the end of the first half.
— Freshman wide receiver D.J. Matthews, redshirt sophomore defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and sophomore linebacker Emmett Rice made the first starts of their careers.
— FSU’s starting offensive line of Josh Ball, Derrick Kelly, Alec Eberle, Cole Minshew and Rick Leonard starting for the ninth consecutive game.
— Junior wide receiver Auden Tate caught 4 passes for 67 yards in the first half, including his team-high eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season. Tate’s nine touchdown catches are the most for a Seminole since Rashad Greene (9) and Kelvin Benjamin (15) in 2013. It was the first multi-TD game for an FSU receiver this season.
— Freshman running back Cam Akers ran for 71 yards on 9 carries and caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman in the second quarter. It was Akers’ first career receiving touchdown. Akers entered the game needing 79 rushing yards to pass Dalvin Cook (1,008 in 2014) for the most rushing yards by a freshman in school history.
— Sophomore kicker Ricky Aguayo made his only field goal attempt of the first half. He is now 16-for-19 on the year and has made five straight over the past seven games. Aguayo entered bowl season 21st nationally and third in the ACC with an .833 field goal percentage
— True freshman quarterback James Blackman passed for 137 yards and a career-high tying three touchdowns in the first half. Blackman has thrown at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 starts and has multiple touchdown passes in five games, including three of the past four. Blackman’s three touchdown passes tie the Independence Bowl record for TD passes in a game.
— True freshman defensive back Stanford Samuels III forced a Southern Miss fumble late in the second quarter, the first of his career. It was recovered by junior A.J. Westbrook, his first career recovery.